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State v. Cleveland

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

March 29, 2018

STATE OF OHIO PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
JAYQUILLE CLEVELAND DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

          Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case No. CR-16-605737-B

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT Timothy Young Ohio Public Defender By: Victoria Bader Assistant Public Defender.

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Michael C. O'Malley Cuyahoga County Prosecutor By: Brian D. Kraft Assistant County Prosecutor.

          BEFORE: Laster Mays, J., E.A. Gallagher, A.J., and S. Gallagher, J.

          JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

          ANITA LASTER MAYS, J.

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant, Jayquille Cleveland ("Cleveland") appeals the decision of the Juvenile Division of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas finding that probable cause existed to believe that Cleveland committed the charged offenses, and subsequently determining that Cleveland was not amenable to rehabilitation in the juvenile system. Cleveland was transferred to the General Division of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas ("General Division") to be tried as an adult. We affirm the Juvenile Court's determination.

         I. Background and Facts

         {¶2} On September 15, 2015, a complaint was filed against Cleveland, who was fifteen years of age at the time of the alleged crime, and codefendant J.B., who was seventeen years of age at the time, in the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court. The charges stemmed from a shooting and robbery that occurred on August 23, 2015.

         {¶3} Cleveland was charged with:

Aggravated murder, R.C. 2903.01(B), with one- and three-year firearm specifications (R.C. 2941.141(A), and 2941.145(A));
Murder, R.C. 2903.02(B), with one- and three-year firearm specifications (R.C. 2941.141(A), and 2941.145(A));
Aggravated robbery, R.C. 2911.01(A)(1), with one- and three-year firearm specifications (R.C. 2941.141(A), and 2941.145(A));
Aggravated robbery, R.C. 2911.01(A)(1), with one- and three-year firearm specifications (R.C. 2941.141(A), and 2941.145(A));
Robbery, R.C. 2911.02(A)(1), with one- and three-year firearm specifications (R.C. 2941.141(A), and 2941.145(A)); and
Robbery, R.C. 2911.02(A)(1), with one- and three-year firearm specifications (R.C. 2941.141(A), and 2941.145(A)).

         {¶4} On September 23, 2015, the state moved the court for a probable cause hearing pursuant to R.C. 2152.10(B) to relinquish jurisdiction to the General Division on the grounds that Cleveland was a delinquent child who committed an act that would be a felony if committed by an adult, and he was 14 years of age or older at the time of the alleged crime.

         A. Probable Cause Hearing

         {¶5} On March 2, 2016, Cleveland and his codefendant J.B. appeared for a probable cause hearing. The state asserted that Cleveland and J.B. approached a parked vehicle occupied by Annjeanette Bailey ("Bailey) and Frederick McIntosh ("McIntosh") at approximately 6:15 p.m., armed with handguns. Cleveland approached the driver's side of the vehicle where Bailey was seated, and J.B. approached McIntosh on the passenger's side. Both were pointing guns and requested that Bailey and McIntosh "gimme your stuff." Affidavit Supporting Arrest Warrant No. 0908289308 (Sept. 8, 2015), p. 2. The occupants refused. McIntosh allegedly was struggling with J.B. when Cleveland reached into the driver's window and shot McIntosh in the back. The assailants ran from the scene.

         {¶6} The area where the incident occurred is monitored by security cameras and recorded portions of the activities. Bailey testified based on her recollection and also to the events depicted in the video. Approximately six to eight young men were walking down the street in the direction of her vehicle where she was sitting in the driver's seat next to McIntosh and checking her cell phone. Two young men returned, approached each side of the car and asked that she and McIntosh turn over whatever they had. The shooter was standing on her side of the vehicle and was doing all of the talking, directing the assailant who was standing on the passenger's side.

         {¶7} Bailey stated that "everything just went black." (Tr. 28.) She then heard a loud "pop." Her left eardrum was ringing. She only recalled portions of what happened next. A bullet (casing) was laying on her chest and McIntosh was "laying over there." (Tr. 28.)

         {¶8} Bailey's daughter Mariesha ("Mariesha") also testified, and described the video events. Mariesha had just left the house and was opening her car door when she heard a shot. She looked up and "one of those two [defendants] came straight past me, and I saw him tuck a gun into his pants." (Tr. 57.) She walked toward the corner and saw her mother standing in the street saying that someone had just shot McIntosh. Mariesha followed the boys in her car and observed them running across the field near the Cuyahoga Community College campus. She attempted to follow but was unable to catch them. Mariesha identified J.B.'s residence that is located in the area where the incident occurred.

         {¶9} Cleveland was ultimately identified after family members and friends sent social media photographs to Bailey and Mariesha of individuals that were possibly involved. They forwarded the identifying social media photographs to the police.

         {¶10} During the hearing, Bailey identified a photograph of Cleveland who she said looked like the assailant, but then looked at the same photograph and denied that it was the assailant. Bailey could not describe the individual who approached her car and shot McIntosh except that his "face was scrunched up real tight." (Tr. 26.) Bailey and Mariesha also failed to select Cleveland in photographic or personal lineups at the police station. Both were able to identify Cleveland at the hearing.

         {¶11} When asked while reviewing the surveillance video whether Cleveland was the same individual that she saw running from the crime scene, Mariesha responded, "[m]ost of me says yes, but right before he actually hits the camera here, it's like they put the hood[s] over their face, and I kind of saw here, but I didn't see here [indicating on the video]. So I can't really say exactly who it is running here [indicating]." (Tr. 66-67.) Mariesha finally responded that she "believe[d] it was" the appellant, "[t]he facial features that I saw, yes, it was" the appellant. (Tr. 68.) She then recounted seeing Cleveland and J.B. in the area several times, and stated that she was also familiar with several of the young men depicted in the video.

         {¶12} Detective Sandoval ("Det. Sandoval") of the Cleveland Police Homicide Unit testified that he responded to the scene and interviewed Bailey, Mereisha and Bailey's other daughter. Det. Sandoval stated that, on August 24, 2015, J.B. appeared at the Third District police station with his mother to explain his involvement with the incident. They were transported to the homicide offices to meet with Det. Sandoval.

         {¶13} J.B. provided a videotaped statement admitting that he had a BB gun and that he accompanied Cleveland at Cleveland's request. They wore hooded jackets and Cleveland was carrying a gun. The BB gun was recovered from the location where J.B. stated he dropped it. Det. Sandoval also confirmed that Bailey and Mariesha were unable to select Cleveland and J.B. from a photographic lineup, though they had just emailed a photograph of Cleveland to the homicide unit the previous day.

         {¶14} Spent shell casings from a .380 caliber revolver were discovered on the driver's side of the vehicle. No fingerprints or DNA tying Cleveland to the scene was discovered. The surveillance video depicted the two assailants walk past the car, walk away, and then approach the automobile. The faces of the assailants were not discernible in the video. Except for the in-court identification of Cleveland by the witnesses, the sole evidence tying Cleveland to the scene was the confession of J.B.

         {¶15} The trial court determined that Cleveland was 15 years of age at the time of the charged conduct and that there was probable cause to believe that Cleveland committed the alleged acts that would be crimes if committed by an adult as specified in the indictment. The court ordered an investigation to determine Cleveland's amenability to juvenile rehabilitation.

         B. Amenability Hearing

         {¶16} An amenability hearing was held on April 20, 2016, where the trial court determined:

[A]fter a full investigation, including a mental examination of said child * * * and after full consideration of the child's prior juvenile record, family environment school record, efforts previously made to treat and rehabilitate, the child, including prior commitments to the Department of Youth Services, the nature and severity of the offense herein, the age, physical, and mental condition of the victim as effected by the matter herein, and other matters of evidence, that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the child herein is not amenable to care or rehabilitation within the juvenile system.
The court further finds that the safety of the community may require that the child be subject to adult sanctions.

         Journal entry No. 0908921774 (Apr. 21, 2016), at p. 1.

         {¶17} The court made further findings on factors supporting transfer under R.C. 2152.12(D)(1), (5), (6) and (8) respectively, enumerated hereafter accordingly: (1) the victim suffered physical harm; (5) the child used a firearm during the act; (6) the child was on parole for a prior delinquency conviction or adjudication or awaiting a community control sanction;[1] and (8) the child is mature enough physically, emotionally "or" psychologically for the transfer, and there is not sufficient time to rehabilitate the child in the juvenile system. Journal entry No. 0908921774 (Apr. 21, 2016), at p. 2.

          {¶18} Further considering the R.C. 2152.12(E) factors against transfer, the trial court identified as relevant items (4) and (7). First, the child has not previously been adjudicated delinquent. Second, the juvenile system provides sufficient security to protect the public. Id.

         {¶19} The trial court expressed particular concern about "the nature and callousness of the act" and Cleveland's "principal participation in the activity that lead to the victim's death." This opinion, the court explained, was "based upon the video" that the court reviewed where Cleveland and the codefendant "cased" and "targeted the victims" and then "mercilessly used their weapons on the deceased." Journal entry No. 0908921774 (Apr. 21, 2016), ...


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